This Day in Red Wings History: Grich goes deep in front of All-Star Game home crowd

Bobby Grich (right) pictured with teammate, the late, Don Baylor. (Photo: DAVE PARLET)

By JOHN LIKANJE

Bobby Grich was the Red Wings’ top slugger in 1971. The 6-foot-2 second baseman led the team in batting average (.336), hits (159), home runs (32), on-base percentage (.439) and slugging percentage (.632). These accolades awarded him the starting shortstop position for the 15th annual International League All-Star Game at Silver Stadium.

Grich led six Red Wings selected to the Midsummer Classic to a 15-13 victory over the New York Yankees in front of a capacity crowd of 11,001 spectators. Grich did his damage early in the contest and made it count. Trailing 5-0 in the third, the All-Star shortstop cracked a three-run bomb to straightaway center off southpaw Mike Kekich. Kekich rounded out a Yankees rotation in which all five starters recorded double-digit victories that season.

Grich added another run in the same frame on a infield sacrifice fly. He finished second in All-Star Game Most Valuable Player voting behind George Pena (Syracuse).

Pena, the starting catcher, finished a triple shy of the cycle. He collected an RBI single as part of a three-run fourth in which the All-Stars rallied from a 7-4 deficit. Pena followed with a three-run shot in the fifth for an 11-7 lead. He capped off his night with a RBI double in the sixth as the All-Stars took a commanding 15-7 advantage.

The five other Red Wings in the All-Star Game were manager Joe Altobelli, Don Baylor, Mike Ferraro, Bill Kirkpatrick and Dave Leonard. Ferraro tripled, singled and drove in a pair of runs in six innings of work at the hot corner. Baylor drew a walk and crossed the plate once while playing center field. Kirkpatrick and Leonard worked an inning apiece on the mound.

Scoring Summary

Top 1st: Jake Gibbs connects on a two-run double. Yankees 2, International League All-Stars 0

Top 2nd: Ron Woods drives in two runs with a base hit. Yankees 4, International League All-Stars 0

Top 2nd: Ron Woods scores on an error at second base. Yankees 5, International League All-Stars 0

Bottom 3rd: Bobby Grich connects on a three-run homer to straightaway center field. Yankees 5, International League All-Stars 3

Bottom 3rd: Bobby Grich drives in a run on an infield sacrifice fly. Yankees 5, International League All-Stars 4

Top 4th: Bobby Murcer connects on a two-run homer. Yankees 7, International League All-Stars 4

Bottom 4th: Fred Frazier, George Pena and Rusty Torres each hit an RBI single. Yankees 7, International League All-Stars 7

Bottom 5th: Dave McDonald connects on a solo homer. International League All-Stars 8, Yankees 7

Bottom 5th: George Pena connects on a three-run homer. International League All-Stars 11, Yankees 7

Bottom 6th: George Pena and Leroy Stanton lead a four-run inning with run-scoring doubles. International League All-Stars 15, Yankees 7

Top 7th: Yankees score a run on a sacrifice. International League All-Stars 15, Yankees 8

Top 8th: Jim Lytle connects on a two-run double. International League All-Stars 15, Yankees 10

Top 9th: Jake Gibbs connects on a three-run homer. International League All-Stars 15, Yankees 13

Also on this day: 1919 – George Kelly hit four home runs in a 19-0 Red Wings victory at Reading. Kelly, who went on to a Hall-of-Fame career, is still the only player in franchise history with a four-homer game to his credit. Three other Rochester home runs were hit that game, giving them a franchise record of seven.

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